Redbox presses play on game rentals nationwide

A test run that started in a few kiosks nearly two years ago leads Redbox to offering games in 21,000 kiosks nationwide--for $2 per day.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Redbox unveils game rentals in 21,000 locations nationwide.
Redbox unveils game rentals in 21,000 locations nationwide. Screenshot by Don Reisinger/CNET

As promised, Redbox has rolled out game rentals nationwide.

In April, Redbox said it would start offering game rentals in 21,000 of its 27,000 kiosks this month. The company is renting out a range of titles for the Xbox 360, Wii, and PlayStation 3, including the recently launched Duke Nukem Forever and last year's blockbuster hit Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Redbox has launched a full online listing of games available to customers. Those who find something they like can reserve a title from home and pick it up at their chosen Redbox location.

Redbox is charging $2 per day for its game rentals. It currently rents DVDs and Blu-ray discs for as little as $1 per day and $1.50 per day, respectively.

The rental company quietly started offering games to customers in August 2009 in just a few kiosks. After successfully attracting customers to its game rentals, Redbox expanded that to more than 5,000 locations.

"Redbox has rented more than 1 million video games in less than two years at these locations, underscoring the popularity of video game play in America," Redbox President Mitch Lowe said in a statement earlier this year.

Following that success, Redbox in April announced plans to expand its game rentals nationwide in June.

Now that Redbox has officially gone national with game rentals, the company is directly competing with GameFly, a Netflix-like company that offers by-mail rentals to gamers. GameFly currently offers 7,000 titles for customers to choose from, and charges $15.95 per month for one game rental out a time and $22.95 per month to have two games out a time.

Though GameFly might feel pressure from Redbox's expansion, GameFly co-founder Sean Spector isn't letting on. In fact, in an interview earlier this year with IndustryGamers, he said that two rental models can happily coexist.

"I think both models can work," Spector told IndustryGamers in the interview. "Look at Netflix and Redbox for movies."